720809 - Letter to Tamala Krishna, Bhavananda and Jayapataka written from London
Tridandi Goswami A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Date: August 9, 1972
Camp: ISKCON London
My Dear Tamal Krishna, Bhavananda, and Jaya Pataka,
Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter dated August 1, 1972, and I have noted the contents carefully, along with statements of expenditures. I am very glad to see from the photos that the construction work is going on. But one thing is, you say that the building will cost 8 lakhs of rupees. According to one previous letter you told me total cost will be 4 lakhs, now it is double. Why is that? In dollars that means $100,000 for the building, but I am told that such building could be built in America for less than $100,000, what to speak of India! So I do not know why your expenditure is so high, I am not expert in these matters, but it appears everything is being spent very exorbitantly. For instance, from the statements I note that you have spent so much for steel, but these things you can get donated or you can get reduction. Tamal Krishna was in Tatanagar, why he did not take promises for so much steel instead of so many useless letters? You should canvass the big manufacturers in Calcutta for giving supplies of steel and other things, now we have got some solid framework to show them. It is not that we are so rich in America we can go on forever supplying you so much money and you spend exorbitantly and become cheated. I do not think that building is worth $100,000. The engineers may be trying to cheat you. You told the total cost will be four lakhs, now it is eight lakhs, why this doubling and uncertainty?
Some other points, you mention "bullock for transporting supply," and it has cost you Rs. 1800/-. I think that is exorbitant price for one bullock. And for that you have purchased two bullock-carts, why? And why you are paying salaries so much to engineers, there was understanding the engineers will work for nothing, only little pocket money, but not for salary. Who is keeping the accounts? All bills must be kept. One bicycle was purchased for Rs. 300/-, but these things anyone will give you, why you are spending money unnecessarily? Why so much legal fees are being paid for purchasing land? It is a simple matter, I pay you some money for your land, the solicitor makes deed of sale, finished. Why so much exorbitant spending? The building must be finished at any cost, that's all right, but it appears there is not clear idea of how to spend, now you say four lakhs, now eight lakhs, so I cannot continue to send so much money if there is no clear idea how to save.
These things like steel, cement--you take donation from the biggest men in Calcutta. If you go on Sankirtan to the big steel-making city in India and you do not take donation of steel from the citizens, only some letters, then where is your credit? Chanting and dancing, that's all right, but there must be some tangible results. [unclear] expenditure as mcuh as possible. We are [handwritten] not so rich. The building work must not be stopped, go on with your work, but be more careful. I think there is not sufficient money in Mayapur fund for 10 Krishna Books, but I shall find out some money and send you myself from my own pocket if necessary. But one thing is, if we are spending so lavishly, I shall expect that the building will be the first-class building in India, you are spending like it is the Taj Mahal!
The funds in Bombay Building Fund are for Mr. Nair, not for Mayapur. For each ten Krishna Books you receive you are crediting as only one lakh, why? You are receiving at least Rs. 114,000, so where is that balance Rs. 14,000/-? Where the other 14,000 has gone?
Hoping this meets you all in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktiventanta Swami
n.b. I have informed Tamal Krishna to take one engineer to Vrindaban for starting the work there, whether he has done it? I shall expect his letter in this connection.
A.C. Bhaktiventanta Swami
7, Bury Place,
London WC1, England.